Donor Experience 101 Best Laid
Bridget L. Brandt
Donor Experience 101
I don’t know everything, but I am
usually right and always funny!!!
• What is a Year-End Campaign?
• Why You Need to Launch a
Year-End Campaign Today
• 5 Best Practices for Year-End
• Tools of the Trade
• Get you to take action and launch the campaign ASAP
• No campaign is ever perfect or “ready”
• Start where you are now
• Only way to improve is to get something out there and test
• Pick one or two ideas and add them to your campaign
• A coordinated multi-appeal fundraising campaign that
capitalizes on the end of year giving cycles that is a part of a
larger donor cultivation system
• Also known as:
• EOY Campaign
• Year End Campaign
• Holiday Campaign
Why you MIGHT NEED to
End of Year Campaign
• NPO’s raise from 40% to 70% of their funds at the end of the year
• Up to 22% in the last two days of the year
• People like to give during the holiday season
• Practice altruism. Instead of big gifts for others, buy smaller gifts and donate a
portion of your budget to the needy. Sometimes reflecting on those less fortunate
helps us regain perspective about how lucky we are and how commercialized our
holidays can become. Dr. Janet Frank, Ph.D.
• People like to get their tax breaks
You only need four tools to run a solid
Year-End Campaign Online
• Place to make your case – website
• Way to take money – donation form
• Way to connect with potential donors – email marketing, pen, &
• Way to track results – online analytics
A little creativity goes a LONG way!
• But keep it simple for now
• Start from where you are
and improve every year
• Use the planning guide
(end of the slide deck)
• Actions for volunteers and
staff to help with
• Information they need to
engage their personal
• September – Brainstorm, research, and schedule your campaign
• Review Last Year’s Campaign
• What worked? What did not work?
• What do the stats tell you?
• What has changed for your organization in the past year?
• What are your organization’s goals this year?
• Complete End of Year Campaign Planning Sheet
• October – Design, write, and prepare communications
• Draft Email Series
• Design look and feel of the campaign
• Create email templates
• November – Finalize all communications and test the campaign
• Have multiple staff members review all campaign content
• Have the campaign approved by appropriate staff members
• Run multiple tests of the entire campaign
• Run a few tests yourself pretending to be a donor & ask volunteers to
do the same
• Send warm-up appeal email/letter (optional)
• Monthly newsletter or separate mailing
• Updates on year, preview of campaign--Send out at least one week
before the first appeal
• December – Launch Campaign
• Appeal 1 – Campaign Kickoff – Giving Tuesday or 1st week in
December--Sets up campaign and tone
• eCard – For acknowledgement of support – 3rd week in December
• If including a holiday greeting, send before the period most applicable
to your donors
• Appeal 2 – Follow Up/Reminder – Dec. 29 or 30-- Last chance to give in
• Free or almost free:
• Buffer-Social Media
• Plan to connect prior to the campaign.
• Make calls
• Do Visits
• Reach out to one person each day.
• GET NOTICED
• Email, social media sent in
November asking for the small
• Thank you
• Email with the first ask on Giving Tuesday or in early December
Email Holiday Greeting appropriate for your audience.
Break through the clutter.
• Tell a Great Story
• Inspire them with your passion
• Individual stories are best
• People give to people
• Emotion >> Rationality
• Make it timely
• Online Video
• Showcase staff, volunteers, and people getting involved
• Tell them what you need and why, don’t expect them to
Email with 2nd & 3rd ask in
Final ask on Dec. 31
• The bigger the event, the
bigger the thank you.
• Always handwritten.
• Always special.
Here are the overall results:
Overall donor retention: 46% (average)
New donor retention: 23% (average)
Repeat donor retention: 60% (average)
Let’s simplify: 5.5 donors out of every 10
donors do not return to give even a penny
the next year!
Implement a Welcome Series for
Keep people involved
Work on engaging them
Get them to volunteer
If you want to
go fast go
alone, if you
want to go